Two Newport libraries may be unstaffed
12:30pm Wednesday 6th March 2013 in Gwent news
TWO libraries could become unstaffed under a proposed shakeup of the service in Newport.
Opening hours could be cut at six branch libraries, while some would see them extended, and the bibliographical service department could also be cut.
The moves are currently under consideration by cabinet member for leisure and culture Councillor Debbie Wilcox, who is also considering whether or not to go ahead with the closure of Stow Hill library.
Some jobs could be at risk of redundancy and the council says seven posts could be affected, but there will be opportunities for redeployment.
It is hoped the changes will save more than £130,000.
According to the council, libraries at St Julian’s and Pill could become unstaffed within the community learning facilities where they are based.
The council claims users in both venues will not notice any great changes in the level of library stock and support available, and says it is hoped people will take the opportunity to take up an increased programme of learning that will be offered at each site from September.
As part of the changes the remaining 11 libraries, in the event of Stow Hill closing, would be categorised to give users clearer information about what they offer and their opening hours.
According to a council report the bibliographical service department could also shut, with its work to acquire library stock conducted in a different way, with books delivered directly to the library sites.
The council says the majority of books purchased are now “shelf ready” and do not need to be processed before going to individual libraries. It has also been proposed that the authority applies for funding to relocate Caerleon library from its present school site to the town hall.
Tory Cllr Charles Ferris, of Allt-yr-Yn ward, where the library is, objected to the proposed closure of StowHill library, which the council argues is a short distance away from Central library.
Cllr Miqdad Al-Nuaimi, Labour councillor for Stow Hill, suggested that library officers explore whether Communities First or the Share Centre can keep some local library facilities for Stow Hill residents.
What each of the 11 branches would offer
IN the event of the closure of Stow Hill each of the 11 remaining branch libraries will be categorised into three groups, with seven facing cuts in hours.
● Group A: Malpas and Rogerstone – will be open for 43 hours a week and will stock the largest range of fiction and non-fiction books.
● Group B: Bettws, Caerleon, Ringland, Maindee and Carnegie – would have a larger percentage of popular fiction than literary fiction, and would be open for 36 hours a week.
● Group C: Brynglas, Pill and St Julian’s – would be open 30 hours a week. Bettws, Caerleon, Ringland, Maindee, Brynlas and St Julians will be open for fewer hours. Rogerstone, Carnegie and Pill will see their hours increase. Tredegar Park will also be in Group C but will be open for 50 hours.